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Understanding the Linux Kernel, 2nd Edition School & Library Binding – Jan 2003


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Product Details

  • School & Library Binding
  • Publisher: San Val; 2 edition (January 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0613912020
  • ISBN-13: 978-0613912020
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Product Description

About the Author

received a degree in mathematics in 1992 and a Ph.D. in computer science (University of Rome, "La Sapienza") in 1995. He is now a research assistant in the computer science department of the School of Engineering (University of Rome, "Tor Vergata"). In the past, he served as system administrator and Unix programmer for the university (as a Ph.D. student) and for several institutions (as a consultant).

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Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback
I am CS student and I had been confused by my OS textbooks with bunch of abstract block diagrams, pseudo codes, and implementation examples on different hardware platforms. I know OS handles interrupts, uses locks, manages process, do file-IO caches, but I want to have a clear picutre of how these really work together. I try to dig Linux kernel code by myself but only finds more questions and frustrations. This book helps me at this point. It describes x86 hardware (which unfortunately not well taught in my CS architecture class), illustrate data structures and code so I can trace code way much faster. It's a book to HELP you understand the Linux kernel (or a real working kernel than those obsolete/only_avaiable_in_super_computing_center ones in the old OS textbooks). If you are already a super OS programmer or C/asm hacker you don't need this book cause you may know things faster by reading the source. You can't use this book to learn the philosophies of OS design, nor can you understand the kernel detail without actual code trace. It may not be up-to-date for a weekly-refreshing software (which book can?), but once you learn the gory details, tracing the changes is piece of cake.
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By A Customer on June 2 2003
Format: Paperback
This book, by admission of authors, follows bottom-up approach. Although I do not favor that approach, I would accept it if 'UP' was ever reached.
Reader is encouraged to look at the code while reading this book, however, very few references to the code is found, it's mostly talk, talk, talk, and you just lose it long before you're able to get a big picture.
I just couldn't believe how much space was wasted in the first part of the book explaining things that you ought to know before you even think about buying this book. I wish that space was used for more code/examples instead.
There is hardly any code in this book, and on the other hand it tried to chew so many subjects that are impossible to fit in this book and deserve (and have!) books on their own. I don't need a book on how CPU works, just show me a piece of code in Linux and try to explain it assuming some theoretical knowledge on the readers side that has to be assumed.
If you expect Stevens-like masterpiece from this book, you will be disappointed. If you already have Kernel knowledge, I guess it might be used as a reference. If you don't, it's close to useless.
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Format: Paperback
I didn't like the first edition of this book, and I still don't like the current edition, though I admit I'm having a hard time understanding why.
I think that part of the problem is the deliberate "bottom-up" approach: this starts out in the first chapter dealing with memory addressing at the hardware level and goes on from there. I tend not to like bottom up explanations: give me the grand picture first and then drill down. But that can't be all of it: The Magic Garden Explained effectively starts there too, and I enjoyed that. Frankly, this approach probably is the best way to handle this subject matter in spite of my preferences.
Perhaps part of this is that I'm not playing by the rules. There is a strong implication in the preface that one should be looking at the source code while reading. One of the reviews at Amazon.com says the same thing. I didn't do that, and that may contribute to my vague dissatisfaction.
I certainly can't complain that this is incomplete or badly written. It covers everything that should be covered, and it is current as of the 2.4 kernels. The writing style is lucid, and I think that in general the writers have done a better than average job of explaining the why and wherefor in addition to the how.
I think maybe I've just lost my interest in this level of detail. There was a time when I found it fascinating in the most literal sense, but that was years ago. I just don't have any burning desire to understand kernel internals anymore.
You, of course, may still have that interest. If so, this would undoubtedly be a worthwhile addition to your library.
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Format: Paperback
Oh yes! This Second of Edition of "Understanding the Linux Kernel" featured a variety of new additions. The most significant being the inclusion of all those attributes, which distinguished the 2.4 kernel version from the 2.2 one.
This new edition also revised some of the staples of its predecessor, like: individual components of data structures, programming pathways, and interdependent algorithms. Its pattern is just as dynamic as that of the First Edition: with expanded elaborations on all those programming and performance tips.
In all, this is a good book to consider, if you are seeking Linux Kernel knowledge. But, if you already own the previous edition, and do not plan to adopt the Kernel 2.4 version, then there is no wisdom in spending on this one.
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Format: Paperback
My interest Ranges from admin to security to <big focus> drivers.
This book (or tome in many peoples eyes) is the utter definition of 'internals explained'. I sat with this book and Linux Device Drivers 2nd Edition (also from O'Reilly) and practically obsessed! It's generally very good for anyone who does /anything/ linux. You will learn how to communicate with the kernel, and get a great explanation of all kernel specific functions. Whether you talk to it, interprocess with it, whatever; this book will be a /major/ help for kernel related tasks, It was for me. As a bonus, in the back you can find all functions and headers by reference and alphabetic. In essence, i was very satisfied and glad i came upon this 'tome'.
Hope this helps
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